Suspected Hitler limo surfaces in Germany
A long-lost twin of one the most famous exhibits at the Canadian War Museum appears to have surfaced in western Germany.
A vintage armoured Mercedes 770K, believed to be one of a pool of vehicles used to chauffeur Adolf Hitler, has been found in a barn in Bielefeld, Germany.
It bears a striking resemblance to a limousine currently on display at the Canadian War Museum that was used to ferry the Fuehrer to his victory speech at the Kroll Opera House after the fall of France in 1940.
Michael Froelich, a vintage car dealer in Dusseldorf, discovered the second armoured limousine. He said he's aware of the Ottawa car, and has a simple explanation: Hitler was believed to have owned several other vehicles like it.
Jeff Noakes, a Second World War historian at the Canadian War Museum, agreed that the Nazi motorpool was full of Mercedes sedans, but said only a few had the distinctive features that marked them out for the leadership.
"The armour is certainly one thing that suggests that the occupant would have been important," he said. "There were certainly never many automobiles exactly like this — in the sense of it being armoured — so it's rare that another one like this would show up."
Noakes said the German discovery doesn't cast any doubt on the authenticity of the Canadian car, which has been confirmed by the maker's records.
"It was delivered in June of 1940, and we have documented cases of its use between 1940 and 1942."
Ten years ago the museum considered selling the armoured limousine to pay for a new building, but the idea was dropped after a public outcry.
German media have reported the Bielefeld car has been sold to a Russian billionaire for about $15 million. However, Froelich would not confirm its sale.